In the summer of 1991, George H. W. Bush was halfway through his stint in the Oval Office, Paula Abdul’s “Rush Rush” was heating up the radio airwaves, and Keanu Reeves was transforming into an action movie star right before the eyes of millions of moviegoers when Point Break was released on July 12, 1991.
Point Break was not the highest-grossing movie of the 1990s; that honor belongs to the billion-dollar behemoth known as Titanic. Heck, it only managed to snag the 29th spot on the list of top-grossing movies in 1991 alone (it’s wedged between Thelma and Louise and Regarding Henry). Yet the surfers-who-rob-banks-dressed-as-ex-presidents action flick (or bank-robbers-who-wear-presidential-masks-and-also-surf crime drama, depending on your perspective) remains the decade’s most defining film. Here’s why: